And as the first day of a new fiscal year without a state budget neared an end, House members met behind closed doors Tuesday, trying to find consensus on changes to the pension system -- but refusing to move on a proposed a cigarette tax that could fund
Almost a day after legislators handed him a
Corbett's last public statement had been near midnight Monday, when the governor said he would not sign the budget without "meaningful" action aimed at reining in the cost of public employee pensions.
"Nothing has changed," Pagni said Tuesday evening.
Whether Corbett was girding for a showdown with legislators was unclear. The law does not mandate that a budget be in place by
But a prolonged stalemate could eventually jeopardize the state's ability to pay its bills and employees. It also could affect Corbett's reelection bid. The governor faces a tough battle in the fall and has been banking on getting the legislature to pass at least one of his priorities: making changes to the state's pension system.
A push in the House to move on a pension proposal backed by Corbett appeared to hit a brick wall Tuesday. That measure would affect only new government and school employees, who would see a portion of their salaries go into a 401(k)-style retirement plan.
By late afternoon, their counterparts in the
Before they left, senators approved a bill with language allowing
"I will do everything in my power and ability," he said.
Could it be pushed to the fall?
"Not necessarily," Adolph said.
House Majority Leader
Mayor Nutter, who has been working the hallways of the Capitol pushing for the cigarette tax, stressed Tuesday night that the clock was ticking.
If the House does not move to give
"There is a lot of uncertainty here," the mayor said. "The children of Philadephia -- and their parents, and their teachers -- certainly deserve the security of knowing that 21/2 months from now, they are going to be able to go to school, have a teacher, be in a safe enviroment, and get a high quality education."
The House is scheduled to return Wednesday to consider several budget-related bills.
House Republicans have complained that their Democratic colleagues have been unwilling to work with them on issues of importance to school districts across the state, including
Topping that list is the pension bill backed by Corbett, which Democrats have said they believe is ill-planned and does not address the core problem of the roughly
The House began debating the measure Tuesday. But the discussion was cut short after Rep.
She also said that while the delegation does not support the specific pension bill being considered, its members have made it clear they are willing to work with Republicans on ways to raise revenue for the budget.
"We work in the business of government and politics, and part of what we do is compromise," Parker said.
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